The Accident

“The Accident”

by Linwood Barclay


Published in paperback in 2012 by Orion Books Ltd., London.

This book falls into the crime thriller genre.

It’s written from the point of view of Glen Garber, although some parts are written in third person. Garber’s wife Sheila, kills herself in what appears to be a DUI car accident. He doesn’t believe that’s what happened because his wife didn’t have a drinking problem; he feels the accident isn’t in her character. A couple of days later, a close friend dies in what also appears as an accident. Garber thinks the two are connected and he tries to find out what happened to both women, walking into a twisted web of crime and secrets.

I didn’t expect the ending… it was definitely something out of the blue. Whilst reading the book I was convinced I knew what was happening, and then as each chapter came along my expectations were changed completely.

I loved the characters, the setting, the way each chapter was written. The author wrote this book using a very clever technique by shifting the perspectives of the characters. It was only ever written in the first person from Glen Garber’s point of view, and all other characters were written in the third person, but I thought this was a nice touch. Even though you can see what the other characters are doing, you can’t tell completely what is going through their minds which helps to maintain the suspense throughout.

Generally when the book covers and inside pages are covered in praise of the book, calling it ‘A gripping web of deception and intrigue’ (Woman & Home) or that sort of thing I dismiss them because I think it’s just hollow advertisement. However, for this book, and the Shadow of the Wind, I must say the praise is deserved. This book keeps you on edge and wondering what will happen next, and you won’t be satisfied until you read the final chapter. Even then, I wasn’t happy because the book was over and it was so good I wanted more.

I always feel like a book has a story… I’m not referring to the characters printed on the paper. What I mean is, the physical object has a story. When you bought it, why you picked that particular book, where you took that book… Linwood Barclay’s The Accident was given to me. It was a birthday gift. So if I sound surprised by this book, it’s because I didn’t expect it. It was sitting on my shelf for the last five years, and I thought I’d finally read it. I’m really glad I did.

I would recommend this book, especially to people who like suspense and mystery. It’s definitely a book for adults, as younger readers might not follow the plot or get some of the references.


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